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Foundation for Appalachian Ohio honored by Ohio Optometric Association

FAO Recognized as Appalachian Ohio Children’s
Visual Health Advocate

Nelsonville, OH – The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) recently accepted an award for its advocacy and dedication to the visual health of children in Appalachian Ohio.

In early 2021, with the goal of increasing vision services to students in Appalachian Ohio, FAO launched a mobile vision clinic through its I’m a Child of Appalachia® Fund, partnering with Vision To Learn and the Ohio Optometric Association’s iSee program. The clinic travels to locations across the 32 counties of Appalachian Ohio to provide vision exams and free eye glasses to children.

“The Foundation was the driving force in making the iSee with Vision To Learn program a reality by creating a strong coalition of entities devoted to improving the lives of Appalachian school children,” said Dr. Shane Foster, President of the Ohio Optometric Association (OOA), which recently honored the Foundation for initiating this program. “FAO’s leadership and dedication to delivering quality, comprehensive eye care to children in some of the most healthcare-barren parts of the state is truly impressive.”

Cara Dingus Brook, FAO President & CEO, accepted the 2021 Friend of Optometry Award at OOA HONORS during the EastWest Eye Conference in Columbus. Kelly Morman, Director of Programs at FAO, also joined.

“Being able to see is fundamental to children’s health, and the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio is grateful for the many partners stepping forward to ensure our region’s children receive vision care,” said Brook. “We are honored to receive this award and truly grateful for the many gifts that have made the program possible.”

For Dr. Foster, helping the children of Appalachian Ohio also means helping the children close to the heart. “I’m a child of Appalachia myself,” said Foster.

To learn more about the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio and opportunities to give, grow and create with FAO, visit or call 740-753-1111.